I ANSWERED ALL YOUR SKINCARE QUESTIONS
2 weeks ago, I asked you guys to send me your skincare related questions on Instagram. I get a lot of questions about skincare through DMs (probably because I’m always talking about it), and I felt like it would be cool to have a master post of all the skincare questions you guys have, answered. Some of those questions were basically the same question asked in many different ways, so I tried to group them in a master question that encompasses everything. If you still have more questions after this, please don’t hesitate to leave them in the comment section below, and I’ll make sure to answer them!
Obviously, I’m not a dermatologist or a doctor in any capacity, so I’m just sharing my opinion and what works for me - as usual.
So without further ado, let’s jump right in and answer your questions!
Where should a newbie start?
Start by figuring out your skin type (sensitive, dry, oily, combination), and try to pinpoint exactly what you want to achieve, aka your main skin concerns. This can be anything that you would like to improve, but the ones you hear the most often are acne and acne scars, aging, fine line and wrinkles, dryness, enlarged pores, dull skin or and discolouration.
Once you’ve figured out these 2 factors, it get a LOT easier to figure out what skincare routine works for you. Usually, if you don’t want to go overboard with a thousand steps, I would recommend starting out with a good cleanser, toner and moisturizer.
Sephora’s website is really well-built in the sense that it has some amazing filters like age range, skin concern, skin type and ingredients, so you can use those to find the products that pretty much fit your needs the best.
Once you start feeling a little more comfortable with skincare, I would recommend getting familiar with the most common ingredients, and knowing which ones work for you and your needs. For example, if you have really dry skin, you’ll want to use hyaluronic acid, which is an amazing hydrating agent. Same goes for vitamin C if you’re looking to brighten up your complexion and get that gorgeous glow. Good luck with your skincare!!
In what order do you apply your skincare products?
This is such a good question and I feel like a lot of people overlook that aspect of skincare. I like to cleanse my skin in the shower, and then move on to serums and oils and creams afterwards, once I’m in front of the mirror and my skin is dry. Usually, the best order is to start with the lighter stuff, and move on to the thicker, heavier products.
So for example, I like to do toner (which basically has the consistency of water) and then move on to serum, oils and them moisturizer. I like to wait a few minutes between each step, to give each product enough time to really get absorbed. I also use a hand fan to speed up the process a little, and I like to do other things in between as well, like brushing my teeth and applying hair oil or body moisturizer. Obviously, if I have a product that isn’t for my face on my hands, I make sure to wash my hands before touching my face again… The last thing you want to be spreading all over your face is hair oil.
What’s your best primer recommendation for oily skin?
This isn’t technically a skincare question, but it has a lot to do with it, so I included it anyways. I have oily skin and keeping my makeup on throughout the day has definitely been one of my greatest makeup challenges, so I really consider myself a bit of an expert in that department, ha! My go-to at the moment is the Milk Makeup Blur Stick (also available in the Glow version, which I also love) but I have also heard amazing things about the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Primer, that’s on my list of products to try.
Outside of primer, the Urban Decay All Nighter setting spray is THE product that made the biggest difference in my makeup game. And I’m not talking about a small improvement. I’m talking about a day and night difference. Seriously, if you haven’t tried it, you NEED to give it a try. I also have a full review of it, which you can read right here.
When it comes to extending the life of your makeup on your oily skin, skincare also has a huge part to play. It’s all about how you prep your skin before putting on makeup that makes a difference. When it comes to helping with oily skin, the Ole Henriksen Cold Plunge face mask is really a game changer. It gets rid of unwanted excess oil and cleans out the pores as well. I’d recommend doing that mask before applying makeup if you really want to go the extra mile.
One last tip, oily skin gets oilier when it’s stripped from its oil too much (see next question), so you want to make sure to still use a good moisturizer, even if you feel like you don’t need it. My favourite moisturizer (and it’s been my fave for more than a year) is the Glamglow Volcasmic Matte Glow moisturizer, because it’s exactly what it gives you: A matte glow, without the oily effect.
What’s your best tip to deal with oily skin?
As I just mentioned in the previous question, the worst thing you can do to your oily skin is stripping it from its oil essential oil and drying it too much. Because the thing about oily skin is, the more you dry it, the more it will overproduce sebum (oil) to stay hydrated. And sebum is the thing that clogs your pores and gives you acne. So treat your oily skin like a new born baby. Clean it, but gently, and don’t forget to moisturize it - that way, it won’t “feel” like it needs to overproduce oil.
I’m personally addicted to the First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with red clay, that really takes care of removing excess oils without overdoing it, and it’s super gentle. As a bonus, I find that it also really helps with blemishes, which makes sense if you just read the previous paragraph. I also find that being regular with face masks really help, and aside from the Ole Henriksen Cold Plunge, which I mentioned above, I like the Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask and the Peter Thomas Roth Irish Moor Mud Mask, that both purify the skin and help with oiliness. Once again, you have to be mindfull not to overdo it with oily skin, so I would limit the use of face masks to 2-3 times a week.
Lastly, don’t forget to keep your skin hydrated, which really helps because not only will your skin not overproduce oil that will clog your pores and give you acne, but your skin will be hydrated with great ingredients instead of that nasty sebum. Talk about an upgrade! I personally find that my skin is doing a lot better in terms of oil now that started using face oils on the reg. I know that sounds completely counterintuitive, but I swear, it’s a game-changer. I personally like the Peter Thomas Roth Green Releaf Face Oil, which really helps with redness and inflammation, and the Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil, that’s an amazing moisturizer and makes my skin looks super plump and youthful.
But my all-time favourite face oil, which I can’t use anymore because it has salicylic acid in it (and that counteracts with my Curology) is the Sunday Riley U.F.O. Face Oil. That stuff is downright magical, and it completely changed my skin for the best. It got rid of most of my acne, and really helped with oil control and the overall look of pores. I highly recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a holy grail face oil. I also have a full post dedicated to the Sunday Riley collection for acne, which you can read here.
How many times a week do you do a face mask?
I usually like to do a face mask every other day or so, which means I probably do it 3-4 times a week. When it comes to face masks (and skincare in general), I like to switch things up, so I might do a face mask that’s purifying and clearing on Monday, and then if I’m looking tired and blah on Wednesday, I’ll do one that’s meant to give me some extra glow. With face masks, as well as with skincare in general, I find that consistency is key.
Have you tried retinol? Does it work?
I haven’t tried retinol yet, but I am working on a post testing out the Biossance Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum, and I’m very hopeful, as I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. Retinol is known to help the stimulation of new skin cells, and it reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. I’m still not at a stage where I need major anti-aging products, but I feel like it’s good to start dipping my toe in those waters, so definitely stay tuned for that post, that should come very soon.
Any drugstore skincare recommendations?
Although I started dabbling in skincare with Clean & Clear and Neutrogena when I was a teenager trying to get rid of acne, I don’t really use any skincare from the drugstore at the moment. I can use a $3 lip balm or a $7 eyeliner and be happy with it if the results are there, but when it comes to skincare, I kind of have this thing where I’d rather pay more for products with better and stronger ingredients.
When it comes to the beauty industry, a lot of the costs are associated with brand name, sure (like in everything), but they’re also in a huge part due to the quality and potency of the active ingredients. Since skincare is something I have on my skin almost 24/7 (and if it’s not laying on my skin, it’s absorbed in it), so I feel more comfortable going the extra mile there, even if it means I have to splurge a little more.
All that being said, I tried the new Revitalift line by L’Oréal earlier this year, and although the price point isn’t really drugstore in my mind (the products are $30 each), they really work well and I loved seeing what they did to my skin when I used them everyday. I did a full review on the blog, which you can read here, or you can just check out the L'oréal Revitalift Derm Intensives Vitamin C Serum or the L'oréal Revitalift Derm Intensives Hyaluronic Acid Serum, which are the 2 products of the line I tried and loved.
Lastly, I also used to really love the Bioré Deep Cleansing Pore Strips, which are incredibly satisfying and a total steal.
What are your 3 favourite skincare products?
This is incredibly hard for me (lol) because I’m used to a whole arsenal in my bathroom, and my skincare routine is really something I look forward to when I’m tired, need a moment to myself, or just plain feel like shit. But if I had to pick the 3 I really couldn’t do without, I would have to choose my Curology, which is a fully custom treatment for acne (I did a full review here), my Ole Henriksen Truth Serum, which is a vitamin C serum that gives my skin an insane glow, and my Glamglow Volcasmic moisturizer.
Ideally, I would love to be able to add at least a cleanser and a mask to that, making it a total of 5 essential products.
Any tips on getting rid of breakouts?
If you’re talking about getting rid of a pimple quicker, then I’m gonna have to go with the boring old tip of not touching it, although I have to admit I’m a huge pimple popper. I know this sounds gross AF (sorry) but I just can’t help to feel like once all that nasty stuff is out, the pimple will dry quicker and go away. If you’re a maniac like me, I would suggest putting a clean cotton pad between your fingers and the pimple, to a) keep it clean and b) avoid stabbing yourself with your nails. This might sound obvious, but skipping that step caused me major bleeding wounds way more often than I would like to admit.
Then, I like to apply pure salicylic acid to the pimple, to make it dry quicker. I personally swear by The Ordinary’s Salicylic Acid, which is only a few bucks and works really well.
I’ve personally tried pimple patches but had a terrible experience, so I don’t use them, but I know a lot of people use them and swear by them. If you’re looking to get rig of a pimple quicker while still hiding it, I recently reviewed the BareMinerals Blemish Rescue Spot Concealer, which basically has salicylic acid in it, and takes care of your pimples while covering them at the sam time.
If you’re talking more about how to get rid of stubborn acne, then I’d definitely recommend Curology, which probably I mentioned at least 100 time since the beginning of this post? LOL. But seriously though, Curology is the only thing that really got rid of my acne. A lot of things have helped, sure. But without Curology, even if I had the cleanest diet and the best products, I truly believe that my skin wouldn’t look as good as it does now.
How often do you switch up your skincare routine?
Since I blog a lot about beauty, I feel kind of obligated to try as many new skincare products as I possibly can, so I’d say my answer is probably a bit different than a lot of people… And trust me, I’m really not complaining about it, ha! I would say I add in new products I’m trying out maybe every week or so, but I still have the same go-to’s I gravitate towards the most, with an occasional new product making it in my routine from time to time.
From one day to another, I usually like to switch up products too, just so my skin doesn’t get “used” to something, if that makes sense. I like to see my skincare routine as a ritual that evolves and solves a problem, rather than something I do just because I have to. That means that if my skin feels super dry one day, I’ll soothe it with skincare that contains hyaluronic acid or rose stem cells, and if I feel like my skin is full of nasties (usually around that time of the month) then I’ll go with clearing, purifying products. To me, it’s all about understanding what your skin needs and using it.
That’s it for today, guys! I really hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful, and I hope it answered your question. If I haven’t, please leave your skincare-related questions own below, and I’ll make sure to answer them in a part 2.
As always, if you feel like this post has provided you any value, please share it with your friends on social media. That really helps our little community grow and it allows me to do even more exciting things for you guys!
Love all of you so much!